Of the nine fruits of the Spirit presented in Galatians 5:22- 23, love is first, the first cause, and the remaining eight fruits are the effects of Love. God’s essence or substance is love. The quality of that substance is in its effects.
Christians try to experience spiritual effects through the overt expression of natural ability and, in this striving, blind themselves to God’s provision that reveals His plan for their lives. They substitute works for faith, hoping to experience satisfaction in their minds and emotions.
Distillation is the process of extracting the essence of a substance. Love is our substance. Therefore the Holy Spirit distills in us the effects of God’s purpose towards us which results in our becoming the products of His being.
The essence of God is extracted from substance by obedience to the truth of God’s Holy Word. The Word of God is the energy used by the Holy Spirit to extract essence, conforming us into His image and perfecting us in His character. We reveal divine activity as we become occupied with the first cause, Jesus Christ. The resulting character of His Person illuminates the effects: joy—calm delight; peace—quiet prosperity in God’s order; longsuffering— fortitude revealing patience; gentleness—the quality of God’s compassion; goodness—the quality of God’s character; faith—the substance of truth; meekness—humility in terms of availability to resurrection life; temperance—ability to control our Adamic nature.